Keisaiin Ryuki | Character Review & Walkthrough | Cupid Parasite

The Glamor Parasite – Keisaiin Ryuki makes a unique first impression with his unusual habits of spraying people with moisturizing mist, and grading their faces like a school report card…

He’s blunt, terse, and has zero interest in getting married – after all, falling in love would only distract from his ambitions to become a world-renowned fashion designer and inherit the family label – and, as such, has landed himself a spot in the notoriously difficult ‘Parasite 5’ as the group’s ‘Glamor Parasite’.

Ryuki is undoubtedly a perfectionist and a snob, but there may be a reason for his cold, detached demeanour and stern refusal to marry. In his route, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about this eccentric designer, and maybe even find him a love match so divinely perfect, he’ll have no choice but to fall head over fashionable heels…

Ratings
Sweet: 5/5 – Ryuki is an endearing love interest with a heart-warming character growth arc that left me feeling so proud of this precious little bean.
Spicy: 1/5 – Ryuki is an innocent, inexperienced love interest, so don’t expect anything more than a few steamy moments from his route.
CD: 5/5 – Ryuki simultaneously adheres to the best parts of his archetype and adds a creative flair that distinguishes him as a unique, unforgettable LI.
Story: 4/5 – While I adored the story as a whole, Ryuki’s route is character-focused, with little in the way of “big” plot developments and intrigue.

Character Design

Similar to:
Isaac Newton (Ikemen Vampire) – Socially-awkward, “pure” genius with more to offer than he realises
☆ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Ikemen Vampire) – Perfectionist snob on the outside, sweet ‘n’ gooey on the inside
☆ Shu (Dairoku: Agents of Sakuratani) – Younger than MC and romantically-oblivious

I’ve labelled Ryuki as a ‘shota’ character because he’s the youngest love interest in the game, and he’s consistently portrayed as being innocent and inexperienced. He follows the classic oblivious trope of needing a push to realise the truth of his feelings, and he actually has an in-game onee-san (older sister), so he is literally someone’s younger brother.

In terms of shota archetype tropes, Ryuki ticks the absolute-must “fever scene”, where the shota love interest comes down with some sort of sickness and MC has to take care of him. This establishes the dynamic of MC being older and more responsible, and Ryuki being younger, more vulnerable, and needing some nurturing from the protagonist.

Ryuki also has the archetypal burning desire to prove himself that we often see in younger otome characters. In Ryuki’s case, this is expressed through his work in the fashion industry, but as we might expect from a romance story, this is later translated to his relationship with MC and him wanting her to see him “as a man” (i.e. a viable romantic partner, not a younger brother).

This pressure to succeed is also expressed in an aloof, ‘Kuudere’ manner, as his perfectionism drives Ryuki to isolate himself for others for fear of being distracted from his ambitions. Further to this self-imposed social isolation, Ryuki struggles to connect with others due to his ‘Tensai’ (‘genius’) traits.

He’s always been seen as a genius due to his family’s legacy and personal synaesthesia – which allows him to see colours in a way no-one else can – leading other people to see him as an unrelatable, untouchable person they’re too envious of (and intimidated by) to befriend.

Shota / Kuudere / Tensai

Ryuki will appeal to players looking for a younger love interest, as well as those who just want to spoil an adorable LI. As an older otome fan, I’m not typically interested in younger characters, but even without any romantic interest in Ryuki, I still became attached to him throughout the route and found myself rooting for him to succeed.

His character growth arc was one of the most satisfying I’ve read in a while, and I finished his route feeling like a proud mama. Even if he doesn’t seem like your usual type, I recommend giving Ryuki a shot anyway, as you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Artist: If you want to thank someone for the iconic art style of Cupid Parasite, then thank Yuuya! She absolutely killed it with Cupid Parasite, which isn’t surprising considering her impressive history in the otome game industry. Yuuya previously worked on: Cafe Enchate, Jakou no Lyla, and Pub Encounter (among others!). Thank you Yuuya for the absolutely stunning artwork in Cupid Parasite (and not to mention the nipples!).

Voice Actor

Enoki Junya (榎木 淳弥) – also known for voicing:

  • Hansel (Ozmafia!!) – Video Game
  • Luka Clemence (Ikemen Revolution) – Video Game
  • Chisato Tachibana (Collar x Malice -Unlimited-) – Video Game
  • Mihaya Araki (Paradigm Paradox) – Video Game
  • Dill (NEKOPARA – Catboys Paradise) – Video Game
  • Rui Maita (The Idolmaster SideM) – Video Game
  • Horikawa Kunihiro (Touken Ranbu) – Video Game
  • Yuri (Fire Emblem: Three Houses) – Video Game
  • Itadori Yuji (Jujutsu Kaisen) – Anime
  • + more!

Story

“A successful fashion designer and member of the Keisaiin fashion family dynasty. He seems incapable of recognizing anyone with a lower facial rank, and has had trouble communicating with his various advisors in the past, leading to his inclusion in the Parasite 5…”

– Cupid Parasite (Official English Website)

Cupid Parasite in general is wacky and energetic, leaning hard into the rom-com genre and elevating it to new heights. Rather than trying to make the romance more palatable for a “serious” audience, the writers knows exactly what they’re going for, and go to town on absurd humour that’s guaranteed to make you laugh.

Combined with the vivid colours and upbeat, retro music, this is an ideal game for players who are burned out from all the dark, heavy dramas, and want to focus on a more character-driven story that hones in on that beautiful journey of falling in love.

Ryuki’s route continues on in a similar comedic vein, although the story does become more personal and heartfelt as we better get to know the love interest. He had a difficult upbringing which has clearly resulted in some personality issues, but any heavy scene in the story is balanced with lighthearted comedy and sweet moments that bring it back to that loveable tone the game established in the common route.

Content warnings: There’s nothing in Ryuki’s route that was too problematic or angsty, but there are themes relating to the consequences of being brought up in a strict, traditional family that may be upsetting for players who relate to this experience.

That being said, Cupid Parasite does a fantastic job of balancing heavy, emotional scenes with light-hearted humour, and none of Ryuki’s ‘bad endings’ were particularly tragic or shocking. You can safely play this route without worrying about an unexpectedly difficult scene popping up out of nowhere.

Story Structure

After a lengthy (but entertaining) common route, you’ll branch onto a love interest’s route and remain there for the rest of the game. There are several endings to collect – including two common route ‘bad ends’ – so I recommend saving regularly to make subsequent playthroughs much easier.

Below is a walkthrough that will take you through the common route and all the way to Ryuki’s ‘best end’, followed by his ‘normal end’, ‘bad ends’, and the two common route ‘bad ends’. At various intervals, I’ve also included a note to make a save file, which you’ll need to return to later if you wish to collect all the potential endings.

Note: When replaying for different endings, I recommend pushing up the right stick to skip to the next choice/unread text, as the general ‘Skip Read’ feature (used by pressing ‘Y’) was a bit slow, even on max speed.

Walkthrough

Note: Some choices will only appear if this isn’t your first playthrough (i.e. you’ve already cleared at least one route previously). I’ve also colour-coded the walkthrough sections as follows: pink = make a save file, cream = player choice, grey = no choices/save file, and ‘Ending’ = Ryuki’s colour (#92CA33).

Common Route

  • Fate’s Call: A Promotion?!

    (No choices)

  • Hashtag Cupid Happenstance

    (No choices)

  • Parasite 5

    ☆ I have to if I want to earn that promotion!
    ☆ Are you struggling with work or something?
    ☆ I read something on Wackypedia… – available after your first playthrough
    ☆ Maybe I should install a humidifier…}
    ☆ (Imagine the faces of your other members.) – available after your first playthrough

  • Love Match Test

    ☆ Try the test. – available after your first playthrough

    Create Save File 1 before answering the test questions!

    ☆ Test answers:

    1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. No
    5. No
    6. Yes
    7. No
    8. Yes
    9. No
    10. No
    11. Yes
    12. No
    13. No
    14. No

    Love Match Test Result: Eros

    ☆ Stop checking. – available after your first playthrough

  • Stormy Seas Ahead

    (No choices)

  • No PAIN No GAIN!

    ☆ It’s all part of the job, right?

  • A Share House Comes On Suddenly

    (No choices)

  • Parasite House Live!

    (No choices)

  • Date Week Begins

    ☆ Ryuki Keisaiin

  • Case 04: Ryuki Keisaiin

    ☆ S-Sorry…

  • Wedding Disruption

    (No choices)

  • Pride of Man

    ☆ (Don’t let Gill bear the brunt.)

  • Joyful Barbecue

    ☆ Was he embarrassed?

  • Good Night & Good Luck

    Create Save File 2 before the next player choice!

    ☆ We should report her to the police.

  • Wasted Love

    ☆ (Don’t use Cupid’s Bow.) – available after completing Allan or Raul’s route

Ryuki’s Route

  • A Meticulous Designer Genius

    (No choices)

  • The Charm of KeiSai:In

    ☆ Apologize

  • LY Wedding Collection

    ☆ I’ll show him around

  • Is There a Worse Colour Than Natto?

    ☆ Give him my honest opinion

  • The Ten Articles of Keisaiin

    ☆ Look toward the lawn

  • Fashion Coordination = Happiness

    Create Save File 3 before the next player choice!

    ☆ Buy a scented candle for Ryuki

  • Gown of Blooming Innocence

    Create Save File 4 before the next player choice!

    ☆ Just give it a try

  • A Divine Double Date

    (No choices)

  • Overheating

    (No choices)

  • #f4b3c2 ~ #bce2e8

    (No choices)

  • An Invincible Generation Gap

    (No choices)

  • True Love

    Create Save File 5 before the next player choice!

    ☆ Accept his request

  • A Natural Sense of Color

    ☆ I want a crepe!

  • December 1st

    (No choices)

  • Like Candy Melting

    (No choices)

  • A Snowy Day Proposal

    (No choices)

  • Best End: One Happy Countdown

Load Save File 4 – Gown of Blooming Innocence
  • Gown of Blooming Innocence

    ☆ Ask how you’re supposed to eat it

  • A Divine Double Date

    (No choices)

  • Overheating

    (No choices)

  • #f4b3c2 ~ #bce2e8

    (No choices)

  • An Invincible Generation Gap

    (No choices)

  • True Love

    ☆ Accept his request

  • A Natural Sense of Color

    ☆ I want bubble tea!

  • December 1st

    (No choices)

  • Normal End: On the Bed Tonight

Load Save File 3 – Fashion Coordination = Happiness
  • Fashion Coordination = Happiness

    ☆ Buy a ball for Kagura

  • Gown of Blooming Innocence

    ☆ Ask how you’re supposed to eat it

  • Bad End 1: Just a Ball? Still, a Ball…

Load Save File 5 – True Love
  • True Love

    ☆ Don’t accept his request

  • Bad End 2: Too Young to Love

Load Save File 1 – Love Match Test
  • Love Match Test

    ☆ Test answers:

    1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. No
    5. No
    6. No
    7. No
    8. No
    9. No
    10. No
    11. No
    12. No
    13. No
    14. Yes

    Love Match Test Result: Pragma

    ☆ Stop checking. – available after your first playthrough

  • Stormy Seas Ahead

    (No choices)

  • No PAIN No GAIN!

    ☆ It’s all part of the job, right?

  • A Share House Comes On Suddenly

    (No choices)

  • Parasite House Live!

    (No choices)

  • Date Week Begins

    ☆ Ryuki Keisaiin

  • Case 04: Ryuki Keisaiin

    ☆ S-Sorry…

  • Wedding Disruption

    (No choices)

  • Pride of Man

    ☆ (Don’t let Gill bear the brunt.)

  • Joyful Barbecue

    ☆ Was he embarrassed?

  • Good Night & Good Luck

    ☆ We should report her to the police.

  • Wasted Love

    ☆ (Don’t use Cupid’s Bow.) – available after completing Allan or Raul’s route

  • A Meticulous Designer Genius

    (No choices)

  • The Charm of KeiSai:In

    ☆ Apologize

  • LY Wedding Collection

    ☆ I’ll show him around

  • Bad End 3: A Fine Business Partner

Common Route Endings

There are two “bad” endings in the common route – although “bad” may not be the best word to describe them. They’re not too tragic, and one of them was arguably more enjoyable than any of the route endings, so I recommend playing them – especially seeing as they don’t take very long to clear.

Note: If you’ve already unlocked the common route endings, you don’t need to do it again. However, if you want to play them, you can do so via the walkthrough below.

Load Save File 2 – Good Night & Good Luck
  • Good Night & Good Luck

    ☆ We should report her to Instegrimm.

  • Common Route Bad End: Farewell, Los York

Load Save File 1 – Love Match Test
  • Love Match Test

    ☆ Test answers:

    1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. Yes
    5. No
    6. No
    7. No
    8. No
    9. No
    10. No
    11. Yes
    12. No
    13. No
    14. No

    Love Match Test Result: Storge

    ☆ Stop checking. – available after your first playthrough

  • Stormy Seas Ahead

    (No choices)

  • Common Route Bad End: Parasite Workshop

Final Thoughts

I saw some controversy among Twitter otome fans about Ryuki’s character – namely his obsession with physical appearances and absurdly high standards of beauty. While I can understand where this discomfort stems from, I think it’s important to note that these traits are meant to be seen as flaws. All of the love interests in Cupid Parasite are meant to be immensely difficult characters who are quite literally unlovable – so it’s expected that players will find this part of his character off-putting.

However, the writers did a phenomenal job of framing this negative character trait in a way that doesn’t alienate any potential players from feeling as though Ryuki would eventually fall for them. By the end of his route, Ryuki’s reasons for being so fixated on a certain ideal of beauty are made clear, and this issue with his personality is at the core of his overall character growth arc.

Furthermore, his standards of beauty are framed in the context of confidence, self-care, and styling choices, not any particular physical features. He never refers to anyone’s size, shape, or physical configuration in any way, and this never factors in to his overall beauty score. What he does refer to, is the way a person carries themselves, how well they take care of their skin, and whether their haircut suits their face shape – in other words: superficial, changeable things.

While this isn’t perfect, I think it’s worth noting that the writers went out of their way to contextualise his standards of beauty within a person’s choices, rather than defining physical attributes. As far as a character obsessed with looks goes, Ryuki is as inoffensive as it gets. He also provides some pretty helpful style and self-care tips, which I honestly wish he’d done more of because I could really use some skincare advice right now…

Plus, this aspect of his personality is addressed throughout his route, and I generally think the writers did a great job of doing so in a healthy, respectful, and entertaining way. If you saw some otome fans expressing concerns over this part of Ryuki’s character, or you were put off by his characterisation in the common route, I recommend putting these worries aside to see how these character traits are handled across the full story.

It’s more about how much care and effort is put in (as well as stylistic choices), not physical appearance.

I’ll admit, I’m not typically interested in younger love interests, but I adored Keisaiin Ryuki. Even if he’s not your romantic type, his story is compelling enough to stand on its own, and he’s pretty difficult not to love. Watching Ryuki grow and fulfil his dreams was incredibly satisfying, and his heart-warming finale was well worth the effort it took to break past his walls and reach his gooey centre.

Despite my glowing review of Ryuki’s character, I accept that he may not appeal to everyone. Even if his flaw is framed as well as we could hope, it’s still a pretty damning flaw. In the beginning of the game he’s a pretty difficult person, and he can be downright rude (including towards MC). If you really can’t stand love interests who insult the protagonist, you may find it difficult to get through the earlier parts of Ryuki’s route.

However, if you’re able to push past these initial difficulties and get to know the sweetheart Ryuki beneath his harsh facade, then you’ll find a sensitive, passionate love interest with a sincere love of beauty with a lot more to offer than spraying mist on your dehydrated skin and fashion advice.

You’ll like Ryuki if you like: younger love interests with a burning desire to prove themselves; perfectionist snobs who slowly thaw and come to accept their flaws; beautiful fashion designers with all the best self-care tips; innocent sweethearts with sensitive souls; rude love interests who’ll insult you – first in a mean way and then in an affectionate way; and pretty boys with great taste in fashion…

Screenshots

Game Info

Game name: Cupid Parasite
Developer: Otomate / Idea Factory
Publisher: Idea Factory International
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: ESRB – T (Teen)
Languages available: Japanese (Audio) / English (Subtitles)
More information: here!

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